When you’re in a car accident, the minutes immediately following the impact are critical. As soon as you’ve made you and the other involved drivers are okay, it’s time to collect some essential information.
In the days after your accident, you’ll work with your insurance company to repair your car and cover the expenses for repairs. You’ll also determine if the other drivers are responsible for your pain and suffering from the accident.
What kind of information do you need? Keep reading to make sure you know everything to collect for an accident claim.
Pictures Tell the Best Story
You’ll provide plenty of written information when you file a claim, but pictures can tell a better story.
When you’re safely out of the way of traffic, and you’ve called emergency responders to your accident, use your phone to take photos of the scene. Capture the condition of both vehicles. Show the direction of travel and any conditions that led to the crash.
Be sure you get close-up photos as well as pictures that include the intersection, road, and traffic signs. Your insurance adjuster can use photos to help make a case on your behalf during a claim.
Collect Names and Contact Information
Law enforcement will collect names and phone numbers for witnesses, and you should do the same thing. You can’t force a witness to provide their information, but it’s okay to ask for your records.
When working through your insurance claim, your adjuster might contact witnesses to get more insight into what caused your accident.
Be sure you also get the names and information from the other drivers and the passengers in the other vehicles. Jot down the other driver’s insurance information and driver’s license number, too.
Most police reports include this information for everyone involved in the accident. Still, it doesn’t hurt for you to collect it while on the scene—as long as you’re not interfering with police or emergency medical services on the scene.
Gather Medical Information
Did you receive medical attention at the scene of your accident? Were you taken to the hospital in an ambulance? Did you see a doctor in the days following your car crash?
Recovering out of pocket expenses to treat an accident-related injury requires documentation of your injury and the bills for your treatment.
Make sure you gather all of the medical bills and doctor diagnoses that relate to injuries sustained in your automobile accident. Your insurance adjuster will need that information when working through your automobile insurance claim.
Keep Your Receipts
If you can’t wait on the results of the claim to repair your car, be sure you keep your receipts. Your insurance adjuster needs to know your repair costs to help reimburse your out of pocket expenses while you want for the claim to come through in your favor.
Get the Police Report
You might feel like it’s obvious that the other driver caused your car crash, but you still need documentation to help support what happened during the accident. The police report is critical for a successful insurance claim.
Within a few business days from the date of your accident, the police report should be available to you. The police report provides the factual details of what happened that day, including:
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- Names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information for identifying information for parties involved in the accident—including passengers
- The type of and location of damage to all vehicles involved
- Contact information for witnesses
- A diagram of the accident
- Conditions at the scene and potential contributing factors, including weather, the roadway, and lighting
- Witness statements
- Statements from the involved parties
- Details about citations given as a result of the accident
- Notes about violations of law
- Opinions as to cause of the collision and a determination of fault
While the police report can include the officer’s input about who is at fault in your accident, that opinion doesn’t mean you’ll automatically win the insurance claim if the other driver is responsible. However, a determination of fault for the other person can help your insurance adjuster fight for the claim to go in your favor.
What Happens If You Lose Your Claim?
In Georgia, you have two years to file a claim for your automobile accident. The more time that passes between the date of the accident and when you file the claim, the more difficult it can be for your insurance to win the claim.
Not every car accident is a clear case of fault. To win an accident claim in Georgia, the fault must clearly be the result of the other driver’s negligence. Negligence can include:
- Distracted driving
- Ignoring traffic signs and signals
- Tailgating or driving too closely
- Drunk driving
When you’ve suffered an injury as a result of another driver’s negligence, you shouldn’t be responsible for repair costs or medical expenses as a result of the accident.
If your insurance adjuster can’t win a claim in your favor, you need legal help to receive compensation for your expenses.
Don’t Give Up On an Accident Claim
When it comes to your financial losses or medical recovery following a car accident, don’t give up on an accident claim. Work with your insurance to begin the process, and call us to work with your insurance company.
Georgia Auto Law investigates the accident and reviews all of the information you collected following your accident. We help make sure you get every penny you deserve to recover car repair expenses, costs for medical bills, and compensation for pain and suffering.
Contact us for a free case evaluation! If you’re suffering from an injury from an auto accident, we’re here to help.